Wesfarmers retail divisions – Bunnings, Kmart, Target and Officeworks – have collectively recorded online sales growth of 89% in the calendar year to date, reflecting the group’s investment in e-commerce capabilities and greater customer preference for online shopping during COVID-19.

On a financial year to date basis, total online sales across the group are up 60% to $1.4 billion.

For the first half to 31 May 2020, Catch marketplace recorded a 21.4% rise in gross transaction value (GTV), alongside total sales growth of 11.5% for Officeworks, 7.6% for Kmart and 5.8% for Bunnings. Meanwhile, Target recorded a 4.3% sales decline for the same period.

Catch has experienced strong growth in both in-stock and marketplace segments in addition to growing Club Catch subscription numbers, the company said.

Sales growth at Officeworks has been supported by demand for technology, home office furniture and learning and education products. However, earnings growth may be moderated in the second half due to changes in sales mix and continued investment in price, team, technology and COVID-19 related operating costs.

Sales momentum for Kmart and Target has improved in recent weeks with a general increase in customer footfall and recovery in customer demand for apparel, although weekly sales performance remains highly variable. Increased demand for home and living ranges at Kmart has resulted in some stock availability issues and is expected to impact sales in June.

Bunnings has invested circa $20 million in addition cleaning, security, and protective equipment over the last three months. In addition, the hardware giant will incur costs of circa $70 million in the 2020 financial year associated with trading restrictions in New Zealand, the permanent closure of seven small-format stores and accelerated roll-out of its online offering.